Friday, July 16, 2010

The 100 Best Movies: #67

67. Back to the Future (1985)

This is a great film that comes directly from my childhood. I don't think I knew a boy who didn't want to be in the shoes of Marty McFly including myself, my brother and all of our friends. I think I just love stories that play with time. What kid doesn't want to go back in time and see if he can change the past? Michael J. Fox (who I watched every week as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties) plays the lovable, impish Marty McFly, whose life is not altogether as perfect as he would want it to seem. His family dynamic is less than stellar (his siblings argue constantly and his parents seem to be on the nerdy side), he's not the most popular kid in school, his principal thinks of him as a delinquent and he hangs around the town eccentric, scientist Doc Brown (the fantastic Christopher Lloyd, in a role that seems tailor-made for him). It all begins to change when he gets into Doc's Delorean and he and Doc are thrust back 30 years into the past. There, he befriends his father (and sees how much of a nerd he was then), meets his mother (and has to fight off her affections) and battles the school bully ("MANURE!!!"). The rest of the cast provides great support to the two leads especially Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson in the roles of Marty's parents (both the present and past versions). The story is (if I may) timeless and the sci-fi/action/adventure angle adds excitement to the teen-angst that in the hands of lesser creators and actors would have seemed hammy. The film is just top-notch directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg and it (and its two more-than-adequate sequels) are a great addition to anyone's DVD collection.

Next Post: #66

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